Reports emerged on Tuesday suggesting that Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI could have been behind the Indore-Patna derailment accident near Kanpur on 20 November that claimed the lives of over 140 people and injured more than 200.
Bihar police has claimed to have unearthed a suspected ISI link to target the railways with arrest of three persons in East Champaran district of the state bordering Nepal and are being interrogated to find out if they had a role in the derailment at Kanpur Dehat in November and elsewhere.
Police claimed the trio had confessed to having worked for a Nepalese contact suspected to be connected to Pakistan's ISI to target the railways.
Bihar police has confirmed that it has sought RAW and NSA's help in probing the matter, according to CNN-News18.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) January 17, 2017
— News18 (@CNNnews18) January 17, 2017
Quoting Superintendent of Police Jitendra Rana, Motihari, the news channel reported that the accused arrested in connection with a separate incident of attempted train tracks sabotage have confessed to getting payments from across the border to target popular trains in India.
He told reporters that Moti Paswan, Uma Shankar Patel and Mukesh Yadav were arrested from Adapur Police Station area of the district.
The three are "professional criminals" allegedly involved in more than a dozen criminal cases, he said.
The Bihar police said that the three local criminals, were arrested for planting an IED bomb on the railway track in Jagiraha village near Ghorasan railway station, near the East Champaran district in October last year.
During interrogation, police claimed they confessed to having been paid Rs three lakh by a Nepali citizen identified as Brajesh Giri allegedly connected with the ISI for planting a bomb on railway tracks at Ghorasahan in East Champaran district on 1 October last year to cause an accident.
"Fortunately, the bomb was detected with the help of villagers at Ghorasan and defused which prevented the sinister designs of the terror elements," Rana said.
The three accused were then arrested in the case, that was at the time being considered as a suspected Maoist sabotage.
Giri, along with two others was nabbed by the Nepalese police at Tailaya, and during his interrogation, it was revealed that he, in turn, was in touch with some people in Dubai who were allegedly linked to the ISI.
Efforts are on to arrest in this connection two others identified as Gajendra Sharma and Rakesh Yadav who are "hiding" in East Champaran area, he said.
Rana said the anti-terrorism squad and other security agencies have been informed about the confession made by the three men who are being interrogated for more details to ascertain if the gang had any role in train accidents in Kanpur and elsewhere.
Reports on India Today, also stated that the Nepalese national, who paid for the reported train track sabotage, was financed by a man called Shamshool Hoda based in Dubai, who has close links with Dawood Ibrahim and ISI.
The accused have also confirmed that they were paid to remove the fishplate of railway tracks which led to the derailment of Indore-Patna Express in November last year, a tragedy that killed 146 people.
The CNN-News 18 also reported that the police have found that one of the accused, Moti Paswan, frequented Kanpur around the time the deadly train accident took place.
The police, although yet to corroborate these allegations, is taking these revelations seriously and has requested the Anti-Terror Squad to probe possible terror links in the case.
Meanwhile, India Today, also reported that an ATS squad has been sent to Motihari to interrogate the accused and establish if the money trail indeed lead to elements from across the border.
East Champaran is a district bordering Nepal and Indian Mujahideen chief Yasin Bhatkal was arrested from Raxaul in the district in August 2013.
Updated Date: Jan 17, 2017 22:19:53 IST